Preview: Juventus vs. AC Milan

Preview: Juventus vs. AC Milan

Struck down by their latest points deduction in a long-running saga, Juventus also aim to recover from back-to-back defeats when they tackle fellow Serie A giants AC Milan on Sunday.

Having been docked 10 points and dropped down to seventh place, Juve then followed their European exit with a humbling in Empoli. Milan, meanwhile, have also endured semi-final heartache of late and still need one point to secure a top-four finish.

As if missing out on a place in the Europa League final was not enough of a blow for Juventus fans to absorb, over the past week, events involving the 36-time Italian champions have since unfolded in typically dramatic fashion.

Serie A’s crisis club lurched to another low hours after having their points penalty for financial misdeeds reimposed, and a 4-1 defeat to struggling Empoli was their ninth of a miserable campaign.

After their setback at Stadio Carlo Castellani, Juventus have now lost that many times in a league season for the first time in 12 years, and Max Allegri’s once-imperious position as Bianconeri boss has come under ever greater scrutiny in the aftermath.

The ex-Milan manager has presided over a second straight trophyless season in Turin – a far cry from his successful first spell in charge – and booking a Europa League return may be the best his dispirited side can realistically hope for after their final two fixtures.

Juve sit seventh – five points adrift of fourth-placed Milan, and with both Atalanta and Roma sandwiched between – so will need several results to go their way if they are to salvage something from Allegri’s second year back at the Allianz Stadium.

One of few pluses for the Old Lady this season – in addition to the blooding of several promising youngsters – has been a formidable home record in Serie A. In fact, no team have earned more points as hosts, including new champions Napoli.

By contrast, Milan – who recently had to hand over the Scudetto to their Neapolitan rivals – are ranked only ninth in terms of points earned away from home, and as a result their title defence has been underwhelming.

After winning 2-0 win in October’s reverse fixture, the Rossoneri now aim to defy such sub-par form on the road to do the double over Juventus for just a third time in the last 50 years – and the first since 2010.

Recent history is certainly on their side before Sunday’s late kickoff, as Milan have not only kept a clean sheet in their last two league games against Juve, but their last Serie A loss to them came back in January 2021.

Since then, Stefano Pioli’s men have remained unbeaten in four subsequent league meetings, and having bounced back from their Champions League semi-final defeat to city rivals Inter with a 5-1 trouncing of Sampdoria last week, they will be keen to keep such a run going.

With Olivier Giroud fresh from his hat-trick heroics against Samp, and last year’s Serie A MVP Rafael Leao also back in full flow following injury, Milan may now fancy their chances of success in Turin – which would also finish off Juve’s top-four dreams.

However, the Rossoneri have won just one of their last nine away matches across all competitions – a shock 4-0 victory over Napoli at the start of April – and have lost both of the last two.

Juventus Serie A form:

Juventus form (all competitions):

AC Milan Serie A form:

AC Milan form (all competitions):

We say: Juventus 1-0 AC Milan
Juventus can keep the top-four race interesting until Serie A’s final day, as they may be flaky on the road but are an entirely different proposition on Turin turf. Neither side are at the peak of their powers, so a classic is not on the cards – and Milan may be sent home pointless following a close-fought contest.

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